Preview 2019: Previewing and looking ahead to the Oklahoma Sooners season with what you need to know.
– What You Need To Know: Offense | Defense
– Top Players | Key Players, Games, Stats
– What Will Happen, Win Total Prediction
– Recruiting Class Analysis | Schedule Analysis
– Oklahoma Previews 2018 | 2017 | 2016 | 2015
2018 Record: 12-2 overall, 8-1 in Big 12
Head Coach: Lincoln Riley, 24-4, 3rd year
5. WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE OKLAHOMA OFFENSE
– With eight starters and a Heisman-winning No. 1 overall drat pick gone, how do you possibly keep it all going after leading the nation in total and scoring offense, averaging 570 yards and 48 points per game? It’s not like the cupboard is bare of talent, and the system is still in place to be unstoppable again. It just might be in a different sort of way, because …
– Jalen Hurts isn’t Kyler Murray or Baker Mayfield – he has played in two national championships. No one is expecting the Alabama transfer to put up historically efficient passing numbers like the last two top overall picks in the respective drafts, and he’s not as fast as Murray was/is, but he was more than fine throwing the ball in spring ball and chilled out most concerns that he could run the attack.
With Austin Kendall gone to take over the West Virginia offense, the backup job will be a battle between redshirt freshman Tanner Mordecai and expected next-big-thing super-recruit Spencer Rattler to be the main man – maybe – next year.
– Hollywood Brown is gone after leading the team with 75 catches, but this should still be among the best receiving corps in college football. CeeDee Lamb is another NFL talent who finished second on the team with 65 catches and led the way with 11 touchdowns,
Senior Lee Morris averaged close to 22 yards per catch with eight touchdowns, 6-4, 221-pound junior Grant Calcaterra is one of the nation’s top tight ends, and then come the five-star freshmen. Don’t be shocked if the rookie trio of Theo Wease, Jadon Haselwood, and Trejan Bridges all have big roles right out of the box.
– The running back situation is loaded, too. The 1-2 punch of 5-11, 205-pound sophomore Kennedy Brooks and 6-0, 224-pound junior Trey Sermon good enough to combine for over 2,000 yards again. Sermon averaged 5.8 yards per carry with 13 scores, Brooks averaged close to nine yards per carry with 12 touchdowns, and sophomore TJ Pledger is also talented enough to carry the ground game if needed. However …
– The offensive line should take a step back after being among the nation’s best. It’ll still be good, and excellent prospects will rise up, but last year’s front five lost Cody Ford, Bobby Evans Dru Samia and Ben Powers to the NFL – all were drafted before the fifth round. The starting five will eventually be fine, but the depth will be an early concern.
6-5, 325-pound sophomore Creed Humphrey is a big talent at center, and sophomore guard combination of Marquis Hayes and Tyrese Robinson should grow into a positive – Hayes is the stronger of the two. The tackle situation is a bit more of a concern – it’ll take fall camp to lock it down. 6-6, 328-pound sophomore
Adrian Ealy was the main backup behind Ford on the right side last year, 6-5, 315-pound junior Erik Swenson was part of the mix behind Evans on the left side, and sophomore Finley Felix and star recruit Stacey Wilkins will be in the fight.